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Scott helps Hulk Hogan, his childhood idol

New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott grapples with

New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott grapples with the stars of Total Nonstop Action wrestling during their taped live show that will air Thursday, March 3rd, 2011. Credit: TNA

Inside an arena deep in tobacco country, Bart Scott "Immortalized" himself in a way he probably never imagined during his youth in Detroit.

"It was surreal," the Jets linebacker said Wednesday.

Scott, an avid wrestling fan since the days of Jimmy "Superfly'' Snuka, Junkyard Dog and Koko B. Ware, was thrilled about participating in a TNA Wrestling event. He aided his idol Hulk Hogan in his return to the ring after a hiatus because of surgery. Scott did his best to help the Hulkster settle scores against Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle and Kazarian.

The show, taped a week ago at Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, N.C., airs at 9 p.m. tonight on Spike TV's "TNA Impact."

"It was a dream come true," Scott said. "As a kid in the '80s, that's who I looked up to, that's where most of my attention was spent. Before I even knew about football, I knew about wrestling because that's what you did on Saturday mornings - you watched wrestling."

Hogan learned of Scott's longtime admiration from his on-field rant celebrating the playoff upset of the Patriots. Scott ended the interview by barking "Can't wait!" as if signing off after talking to wrestling announcer Mean Gene Okerlund.

So TNA representatives contacted Scott's agent to gauge if Scott would be interested in performing with Hogan. He didn't need much prodding.

"Apparently, he's been a Hulkamaniac since he's been in diapers and he's been a huge wrestling fan," Hogan said Wednesday. "He grew up watching me and said I've been a part of his life ever since. He just thinks about the power of Hulkamania whenever he goes on that football field. He said that's what gives him the extra edge.

"I guess he's starting to do the show biz aspect. He's stealing a little bit of my gimmick. Every time he rocks somebody's world on that field, he breaks down into a Hulk Hogan promo."

The field is Scott's comfort zone. But as part of Hogan's "Immortal" team, he was out of his element and had to closely follow the story lines.

"It was like no takes, no nothing," Scott said. "Just go. It kind of put a lot of pressure on me because they give me the scenario, and you don't want to be the guy that jacks it up. We come out and they go about business. It's like a machine."

And pretty secretive until it airs. Here's Hogan's teaser:

"Let me put it to you this way: [TNA president] Dixie Carter is going to be put in her place for trying to run me out of the wrestling business. And nobody is going to dare mess with Hulk Hogan because Mr. New York Jet himself is going to be watching my back. I can't tell you what happened, but I can tell you one thing: He's really good at what he does and it ain't got nothing to do with football."

Some suggested Scott may have violated his contract by engaging in physical activity outside of football. The Jets declined to comment, but Scott seemed perturbed by that insinuation. "I think it's utterly ridiculous," he said, "so I don't even think that deserves a response."

Scott performed so well that Hogan left him with a message.

"If you really want to get serious about making some money, when you get done with this football stuff, you need to jump in the wrestling business with us and get real," Hogan said. "The character he is, he can probably sell more merchandise and make more money on toys, games and videos than anything else. He's something else."

Scott isn't ready yet. He's hoping to clutch the Lombardi Trophy before he hangs up the cleats.

"I'm trying to take care of my golden goose right here," Scott said. "I don't know if I can make the sacrifices they make - Kurt Angle with his neck fused. I don't know if I'm willing to go that far."

In the meantime, the Hulk will be chirping in his ear, trying to change his mind.

"Oh yeah, dude," Hogan said. "I'm all over him now. He's got youth, he's got energy, he's got the right attitude. I keep telling him, 'Whenever you are ready to switch gears, we are ready for you, man.' ''

New York Sports